Dear JNF Campaign Leaders: 


It’s amazing the turn of events that happened since I communicated with you last Friday. Last Shabbat, more than 700 rockets were fired into Israel killing four and injuring dozens more. Hundreds of people flocked to emergency rooms for everything from shrapnel wounds to trauma and shock. And then, as soon as it began, a truce took hold. We have seen this time and time again. Sadly, we know this won’t be the last time, and just as much as life goes back to “normal” it is always with that knowing understanding that preparations need to happen for the next time.


At Jewish National Fund, we are always there. When the news agencies turn off the spotlights and the reporters move on to the next story, Jewish National Fund is there. These are our partners. These are our family members.  For us, this is personal.


I want to share with you this memo our national Community Campaign co-chairs, Laura Salzer & Jim Riola, sent to community presidents, community campaign chairs and spring campaign chairs, along with giving opportunities to support communities in the Gaza Envelope. Let us leverage both national Women’s Month and our Spring Campaign initiative to close the gifts of past donors who have not yet made their annual campaign commitment.




A new national subcommittee is being assembled to assess the current program and develop our tree strategy moving forward. Our primary objective is to increase revenue from tree sales. Secondarily, we aim to optimize donor experience and expand our marketing efforts. We are looking for lay leaders across a wide demographic of age, location and JNF knowledge – it does not need to be a current tree buyer – to get involved. For more information or to nominate a lay leader, please contact Community Campaign Director Jessica Milstein at [email protected]



May is Women’s Month at Jewish National Fund. This month, we focus on the power of women as well as tie in with Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 12th. Our goal is to increase women’s giving and inspire women to take an active role in leadership positions, not just in the women’s campaign but throughout the organization.


The focus is on women solicitations, multi-generational gifts, email blasts throughout the month and a significant social media campaign. For Mother’s Day, we produced a postcard which hit homes the 3rd week in April to encourage people to buy trees to celebrate/honor/remember their mother.   


We have secured a generous donor match of $1 million from Shelly Shor Gerson in Cincinnati and Lynne Merriam in Tampa from May 1st until May 31st. Therefore, all donations to the women’s campaign throughout the WHOLE of May will be matched, the matching funds will go to the general campaign. Please announce this match at every event, even if it isn’t a women’s specific event.  Shelly and Lynne…. on behalf of your entire JNF family, thank you for your generosity and your leadership! 


Please watch the recording of the recent Community Campaign Conference call with important information about the Spring Campaign.




What is Spring Campaign? Spring Campaign is our critical Q3 campaign targeting our donors at $500+ and JNFuture’s at $360+ who have given in any of the previous 3 fiscal years, but not in FY2019. Knowing that July & August are our slowest months, how we perform during Spring Campaign will forecast how strong our fiscal year will end. This campaign will run May 1 - June 24. We have a very ambitious goal in raising $12 million through Spring Campaign and are confident we can close 75% of our lapsed donors.


Here are some documents with background on the Spring Campaign program:


Spring Campaign Flyer

Regions and Professions

Spring Campaign Script



Because this year’s National Conference is taking place so early on the calendar, September 13-15, we have decided to schedule the annual Campaign Planning Summit for the Monday immediately after the conference on September 16. The Summit will be a one-day meeting from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm and is open to any lay leader serving on a JNF board, committee or task force.


Registration for the Campaign Planning Summit is included on the National Conference registration page. Please be sure to register for the National Conference and on the drop-down menu there is a place to indicate you will attend the Campaign Summit. Click here to register for National Conference:  jnf.org/nc



Mark your calendar for the next training seminar, Anatomy of an Effective Board Meeting, taking place May 15 at 12 Noon eastern time.


If you missed any of the previous training sessions, you can click below to watch the videos.


History of Zionism and Jewish National Fund (9/13/18)  




The Power of the JNF Brand and Brand Management (11/14/18) 




JNF Organizational Overview and Financial Structure (1/16/19)



Peer to Peer Fundraising (3/27/19)



Shabbat Shalom, 





Bruce K. Gould
President Elect and Vice President, Campaign

Shop Amazon Smile

Did you know that you can support Jewish National Fund while you shop? Amazon Smile will donate a portion of your purchase price to us when you shop through smile.amazon.com. Just look for our name in the list!

JNF In Your Area

Traveling to another city and want to see what JNF events are taking place there? Just visit jnf.org/inyourarea  for a quick look at how to stay engaged while on the road. 



Alexander Muss High School in Israel


New podcast alert! Hear from beloved Israel Studies instructor Lisa Biton about her experiences teaching and inspiring tomorrow’s leaders and advocates for Israel. Earlier this week we were pleased to spend time with representatives from the Samis Foundation; sponsors of our Washington State Impact Fellowship. They spent a day on campus meeting with our staff and students. Additionally, we participated in the Israeli traditions observing Yom HaZikaron, with a memorial ceremony on campus, followed by celebrations for Yom HaAtzmaut! Our students went to the beach and proudly honored Israel’s 71 years.

Travel & Tours Update

Calling all 25-35 year olds! Spend an exciting week experiencing Israel like the locals and getting your hands dirty. Make your mark on Southern Israel in a meaningful way this August. Learn more.


Media Update

This week, the CBS-affiliate in Baltimore ran a beautiful, heartfelt segment on Andy Klein (z"l), a remarkable and special JNF family member who tragically passed away in March. 





Updates from Israel

Yom Ha'atzmaut at the Heritage Sites



In honor of the state of Israel’s 71 years of independence, the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites offered tours, events, and activities at 71 heritage sites, all free of charge and open to the public. Visitors all over Israel were able to take part in special independence- themed activities such as guided tours, treasure hunts, and escape rooms. At Ben Gurion’s desert home in Sde Boker, families took part in traditional Israeli folk dancing and even got to sign and take home their own copy of the Israeli declaration of independence. The Ayalon Institute Bullet Factory, Atlit Detention Camp, and Ammunition Hill were also among the 71 sites offering fun activities for the whole family. A great way to celebrate Israel’s independence while learning about Israel's history!


Special in the IDF


קבלת תעודה

This week the Israeli Defense Forces honored five exceptional Jewish National Fund Special in Uniform soldiers at Nachshonim base. The soldiers work in the logistical center for the divisional forces making sure that in emergencies, the division will be equipped for battle. They received the award from the commander of the base for their volunteerism and dedication to the Army. Congratulations on your accomplishments. We are very proud of you.


D’Var Torah

This past Sunday, Jewish National Fund sent an emergency message to all its supporters: “It's happening again. Rockets fired. Children terrified. A father killed. For us, it's personal. This is our family; it's your family. It's the people in Sderot. It's the children at Aleh Negev-Nahalat Eran. It's the families of Kibbutz Nahal Oz, Kibbutz Kerem Shalom, Halutza Communities. It's the people across the entire region. These people are not targets. They are our family, our children. Today and every day, we are with you!” The message clearly came out of love for our brothers and sisters in Israel.


The Jewish tradition emphasizes that love is an obligation. To "love your fellow as yourself" is a verse in the Torah and has been part of our heritage for the past 3,300 years. It actually comes from this week’s Torah portion, Parashat Kedoshim, which means "holy," and contains one of the most famous and beloved lines in all of Torah: “Love your fellow as yourself; I am the Lord.”


Rabbi Akiva, the Talmudic sage who was born in the first century of the Common Era said: “Love your fellow as yourself” is a great principle of the Torah.  But, how can we realistically define this seemingly elusive mitzvah? What is the secret?


Judaism offers a variety of views regarding the love of God, love among human beings, and even love for non-human animals. Love is a central value in Jewish ethics. But Judaism is not a religion. If we are a religion, then some Jews are more Jewish, others less Jewish, and many Jews are not Jewish at all. We are a soul. A single soul radiating into many bodies, each ray shining forth on its unique mission, each body receiving the light according to its capacity, each embodiment playing its crucial role. Together we compose a symphony with no redundant parts, no instrument more vital than another. And our path back towards that original source of light is through every other ray that extends from it.


A healthy body is one where every part works in harmony. A healthy Jewish people is one big, caring family where each individual is as concerned for the other as for his own self. Where one Jew faces rough times and the others hold his hands. Where one meets good fortune and all of us celebrate. Where no one is labeled or alienated for his or her beliefs, behaviors or background. Where everyone runs to perform an act of kindness for the other, shuts his eyes and ears to the other’s shame. If we do not take care of our own, who will? Perhaps this is the secret of our survival. We are unique in this: to this day, when one Jew hears of another Jew’s plight somewhere across the globe, he identifies with him, feels his pain and is moved to do whatever he can to help.


We are all brothers and sisters, and we need to show love to all. Because We’re All One.


Shabbat Shalom,